March 20, 2008

So long, my dear, dear friend

Today I got a call I had been expecting but did not want to receive. My boss, Joan--a dear, dear friend and mentor these past seven years--passed away today after a year-long battle with lung cancer. It was already stage four when she received the diagnosis. Never a smoker, always a health and fitness nut. The diagnosis was a severe shock to us all.

Joan's passion (after her kids) was changing the world. She got herself into a position where she could make a huge impact through a corporation, and she proceeded to make that impact. I think she may have surprised even herself with how successful she was at moving people and inspiring them.

The phrase that was used when I got the call was "passed away." It's a nonthreatening phrase, one that implies peace and passivity and quiet and calm.

Tonight, I will watch my 11-year-old son go through a rite of passage, a scouting ceremony called "bridging" where he literally will walk over a small bridge, leaving his Cub Scout pack and joining his Boy Scout troop on the other side.

That is how I am imagining Joan "passing away." And when she gets to the other side of her bridge, I am sure the first thing she will do is figure out how to make Heaven a better place for everyone. I bet she's already gotten on Management's calendar to discuss some changes.

Joan, the world is a darker place today without you. But the dozens--hundreds--of people you inspired will each carry your inspiration for the rest of our days. I hope in some way we can live up to your legacy.

8 comments:

La Gringa said...

I'm very sorry for the loss of your friend.

blogless_troll said...

She sounds like a wonderful person.

Sarah said...

Beautiful words for such a sad day! My heart goes out to you and her family.

December/Stacia said...

Oh, pjd, I'm so sorry to hear this. {{hugs}}

Phoenix said...

Making a difference is the very best any of us can hope out of our too-brief passage here. Your friend obviously made a difference in many lives. What a fabulous legacy. Aloha, Joan.

pjd said...

Thank you all for your thoughts and kind words. It does help. Especially as I make calls to people we worked closely with so I can let them know the bad news.

fairyhedgehog said...

I've only just met you (on Evil Editor) but I am very sorry to hear your sad news.

writtenwyrdd said...

I'm sorry for your loss. It's hard to lose someone like that. She sounds like a lovely lady.